Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jaguar E- Type, Low Drag Coupé (1962)

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Jaguar E- Type, Low Drag Coupé (1962)

After the introduction of the E-type, Jaguar wanted to investigate the possibility of building a car more in the spirit of the D-type racer from which elements of the E-type's styling and design were derived. One car was built to test the concept designed as a coupé as its monocoque design could only be made rigid enough for racing by using the "stressed skin" principle. Previous Jaguar racers were built as open-top cars because they were based on ladder frame designs with independent chassis and bodies. Unlike the steel production E-types the LDC used lightweight aluminium. Sayer kept the original tub with lighter outer panels riveted and glued to it. The front steel sub frame remained intact, the windshield was given a more pronounced slope and the rear hatch welded shut. Rear brake cooling ducts were located next to the rear windows,and the interior trim was discarded, with only insulation around the transmission tunnel. With the exception of the windscreen, all cockpit glass was plexi. A tuned version of Jaguars 3.8 litre engine with a wide angle cylinder-head design tested on the "D" type racers was used. Air management became a major problem and, although much sexier looking and certainly faster than a production "E" type, the car was never competitive: the faster it went, the more it wanted to do what its design dictated: take off.

The one and only test bed car was completed in summer of 1962 but was sold a year later to Jaguar racing driver Dick Protheroe who raced it extensively and eventually sold it. Since then it has passed through the hands of several collectors on both sides of the Atlantic and now is believed to reside in the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray.

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